After having ridden hundreds of horses around the world, I’ve definitely fallen in love with loads of them. A few horses have really made a big impression on my life and that I’ve connected with more than others. On Instagram, I asked you guys if you’d like to read more about these fantastic ponies I’ve ridden on horse riding holidays, and you did! So here we go.
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Like I mentioned in the blog about how to connect to your trail riding horse while on horse riding holiday, I’ve met quite a few horses that really stood out to me and left a lasting impression. These are the horses I clicked with very quickly, and the longer we rode, the more we connected.
This stunning mare was a pleasure to ride, every second of the day. She is one of the horses on our Argentina trip. She’s very sensitive, and has a lot of go. Luna is also one of the most intelligent horses I’ve ever ridden! She picked up on what I asked super quickly, even if it was completely new to her. By the end of the week of exploring the Argentinian landscape on horseback, I felt like we had quite literally melted into the same personality.
In Turkey, I had the pleasure of riding a mare called Anadolu. She’s the main guide horse used by our partners in Turkey, and you’re likely to meet her if you’re going on the horse riding holiday along the Lycian Way. Anadolu is a beautiful horse, but more importantly, she’s lovely to ride. She’s sensitive, intelligent and forward, my favourite traits in a horse. One of the riding days, I was on a horse I was far from connected with, and asked if I could switch with someone. I don’t often switch horses, however I’d just dislocated my shoulder a few days before and wasn’t comfortable on the horse I was riding as it had a bit of a hard mouth to ride with one hand. The second I got on Anadolu I got a big smile on my face, you could feel the muscle and energy! She often got excited on open terrain and on the beach, but was easy to hold back. When you let her go, it feels like you’re sitting on an amount of muscle equal to 10 Arabian horses together. When we had to navigate difficult terrain such as paths through the mountains, she knew exactly what to do, was calm, and extremely sure footed. I only got to ride her for one day, but it was an incredible day for sure.
This mare is probably in the top three horses I’ve ever had the pleasure of riding. She’s absolutely bombproof, and she trotted down the streets of the busy town of Luxor without batting an eye. She is very (!) forward, and super sensitive. I absolutely love horses that mirror you to the point where it feels like they’re reading your mind, and Fayrouz certainly did that. This horse was so much fun to ride that I was legitimately heartbroken when the horse riding holiday had come to an end. For weeks after, I searched for ways to be able to bring this horse into Europe, but eventually settled for riding her for one week a year during our equestrian meet-ups in Egypt. When you start a canter with her, you always get a couple excited bucks before she relaxes into probably the most comfortable canter I’ve ever sat! In the gallops she was slightly insecure in the beginning, being only 4 years old at the time. However, she quickly realised it was lots of fun to race past the whole group, she was so proud of herself, and I was too.
Lundi is a little pony that lives in Zimbabwe, and she has a hilarious personality. She reminds me a lot of my own horse Bats. This pretty, grey horse is super forward, and super curious. When I first rode her, she hadn’t done a lot of horse riding holidays yet, or any at all, but she was fantastic. Lundi loved to ride next to the group so I could take videos and pictures of everyone, and she really enjoyed exploring the world around her. She’d go up to weird looking bushes to investigate, and would stare at giraffes for ages before continuing to go with the rest of the horses. I fell in love with her during the first canter, in which she bucked a couple dozen times out of pure excitement. She did learn to contain her excitement a bit better, and hasn’t turned into a bronc ever again. She’ll always still have a cheeky personality though!
This gelding doesn’t really match up with the personality of the other horses in the list. Capricho is a cheeky gelding in Mexico (cheeky being a quality I love), but he isn’t super forward, and he certainly wasn’t sensitive when I first rode him. At the end of our first day of riding, I finally clicked with him, despite wanting to switch to another horse just a few hours earlier. He’s a beginner’s horse, and very good at his job, but if you’re an experienced rider, he’ll make sure you have a fantastic ride by letting his true appaloosa personality shine. Read more about this horse here.
Shadow is the opposite of the kind of horse I was looking for. He’s old, gray, a gelding, and a thoroughbred. At the time, I was looking for a guide horse which was young, any color but grey, a mare, and a local, sturdy mountain pony. Shadow actually doesn’t fit in this list, as I’ve ridden him for years through Lesotho, but I did fall in love with him on the first ever day I rode him. If you're joining our horse riding holiday in Lesotho, you might even see me guide on him! Read all about this beautiful horse that is in my top three horses around the world here.
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